Aid to the Church in Need is supporting the Catholic Church in Ukraine in its commitment to stay on the ground and keep serving its flock in the face of material and economic war.
ACN’s support for Ukraine dates back to the 1950s when we started helping the seminary for Eastern Europeans who had emigrated. In 1991, Cardinal Myroslav Lubachivsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, returned from exile, and we began to rebuild church structures - liquidated by the communists in 1946. Since 1994, ACN has invested in the building and upkeep of the Greek Catholic and Latin Seminaries.
Over the past ten years, we have been supporting the building and renovation of many churches (385 projects), monasteries (191 projects), and presbyteries (143 projects), as well as supporting candidates for the priesthood for the Latin Catholic and Greek Catholic churches. Currently, we support more than 900 seminarians in the country.
Ukraine is therefore an important country for ACN and we will continue doing all we can to help our brothers and sisters here to be strengthened in their faith and that they may continue to be a light in Ukraine which is surrounded by so much tension and conflict.
ACN is helping priests and religious, who are working across the country in parishes, with refugees, in orphanages and homes for the elderly. The main cities where we are sending immediate help are Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhya, Odessa and the region of Donetsk.
ACN is also currently giving more than $700,000 AUD in Mass stipends to support priests in Ukraine who are caring for a population that is besieged and under bombardment. The stipends support almost 1,900 Catholic priests across the country, including 137 from the Greek Catholic archdiocese in Kyiv.
A story from Kharkiv:
“Let's hurry to love people, they depart so quickly…” (polish poet and priest, Fr. Jan Twardowski)
Some days ago, Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk of Kharkiv, Ukraine, visited the Catholic parish at Zolochiv, near the frontline. During the visit, two parishioners asked to take a picture with him. A few days after, Bishop Honcharuk sent to ACN this picture:
“This lady has left us. The day after my visit she was riding her bicycle to a grocery when all of a sudden, shelling started. The bomb exploded so close that she could be identified only by her phone”, said Bishop Pavlo. “Pray for her, for her family. Pray for everyone here”, asks the bishop.
Sadness and grief… However, the picture reminds us of the importance of encounter. We can’t predict the future, so we should waste no time loving today. As the Church is doing right now, near the frontline in Ukraine.
Can you provide aid to the Catholic people in Ukraine? They need your help!
To stay updated on the situation in Ukraine go here.
Prayers for Ukraine go here.